Investigators at SMU and the University of Texas at Dallas have discovered a family of small molecules that shows promise in protecting brain cells against nerve-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. SMU’s work is led by Chemistry Department Professor Edward R. Biehl.
Health care journalist Bill Hethcock covered the research for The Dallas Business Journal. Hethcock’s Feb. 25 article “Firm is out to prevent neuron loss” details how Dallas-based startup EncephRx Inc. was granted worldwide license to develop the jointly owned compounds.
By Bill Hethcock
Dallas Business Journal
Dallas-based biotech startup EncephRx Inc. is working with researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University to develop treatments for Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Already, there have been signs of promise in animal testing. The company is seeking $1 million in grants and private equity to begin pre-clinical testing in the next year.
The goal is to develop and commercialize treatments that prevent the progressive loss of neurons that characterize the diseases, said Aaron Heifetz, CEO of EncephRx. Available medications attempt to relieve symptoms, but don’t prevent neuron loss and disease progression, he said.